The palace of literature that Exclusive Books has created with its bold venture in Hyde Park could soon be named the International Bookstore of the Year. The branch is short-listed in the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards for its brave and expensive experiment, which blends an enormous bookstore with a coffee bar, a stylish restaurant and shelves stocking high-class goodies such as exotic scarves and leather slippers. It sounds bullish to expand a bookstore when electronic devices could make physical books redundant, but bookshops aren’t dying, says Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk. "So many people say to me you just can’t replace the feel of a book. They say, ‘I used to consume on the Kindle and I don’t anymore, I don’t even know where it is in the house’, because there’s nothing like the texture of a book." Downloads of electronic books are in decline, while sales of physical books are up for the first time in eight or nine years in the UK and US, Trisk says. That...

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